Archive for May, 2008

My new home


I’m practically living at Zuda comics at the moment because they’ve got some excellent talent showcased over there.  I’ve just finished reading High Moon by David Gallaher, Steve Ellis and Scott O Brown and damn I’m impressed.  Now you might think werewolves, cowboys and vampire batmen with too many eyes wouldn’t mix with the old west.  You might also think that its all been done before.  In spite of this High Moon works.  It has the virtues that all good comics require good writing, excellent art and memorable distinctive characters.  Speaking of which the mysterious Matthew Macgreggor the ex-Pinkerton hero of the piece is great.  Take Clint Eastwood’s Man with no name, mix in Wolverine with occult knowledge and you’ve got a rough idea of what he’s like.  Now I say this as a shorthand to description rather than as a critique of the character.  Yes he draws upon some fairly iconic archetypes but he is his own character.  All of the supporting cast are excellenta and it is the quality of Gallaher’s writing that immediatley pulls you headlong into a mystery that manages to defy your expectations.  Ellis’ art is deeply atmospheric in the sense of horror and in capturing the period.  It is this that initially hooks the reader and once you’re eyes are glued to the page the writing keeps you turning pages.  Finally Scott O Brown’s solid work on lettering helps to finish off the whole package.  This is one that I’ll be voting for and I can’t wait for the next installment.

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The end of a modern classic


Evan Dahm has announced the end of Rice Boy.  The story came to a logical and poignant conclusion.  Although some key characters don’t make it the world of Overside will continue after Dahm takes a break.  All I can say is bravo and thank you for a wonderful comic and I’m looking forward to the fresh out put.

“E”xtraordinary


I’ve just finished reading the first two issues of “E” by Crawdad Jones over at Zuda comics. Its brilliant but bizarre faire. The characters have an idiosyncratic look with triclopean (is that a word?) heroes and trollish villains. The main character is iconic and although his sidekicks draw upon his image for their look they stand alone as intresting and visually arresting figures. There is no spandex in sight if you’re normally not a fan of superhero comics so don’t let the genre put you off. You would miss out on a quirky but masterful artistic style and an amusing and intriguing story. It’s blend of offbeat humour and outlandish art is what the genre has needed for a while.

Is Zuda Comics X factor for the funny papers?


Zuda comics are taking an innovative approach to publication, they’re asking the audience.  The competition is staright forward the visitors to Zuda rate the comics and the winner gets published.  Now there is the danger of the lowest common denominator winning out and leaving us with yet more sub par x-men clones.  However we readers are a pretty discerning bunch so it could work out pretty well.  I’ll be posting my thoughts on some of the offerings on the site

Spectrum Black


Good news for Robert Deas fans his new Sci-fi title Spectrum Black is to be published in the DFC.  While great for the artist fans of Instrument of War will be in for a long wait as it heads into hiatus.  If you can’t wait until September you can always check out Macbeth as I mentioned in my last post which is out in June.

Manga Shakespeare


I’ve been really busy at work but at last I’ve managed to twist a little reviewing out it and not feel slack. The new range of Manga Shakespeare texts published by Self made hero are designed to make the Bard more appealing to kids. I’m not certain if that will happen but I don’t really care because I enjoyed the read. Now I’ve only read The Tempest and Richard III so far in the series but they are an excellent taste of what the series has to offer. Lets face it Richard lends himself well to the role of Manga villain with his gloating evil and sinister plots and Patrick Warren perfectly realises the gllomy doom laden plot of the play. Paul Duffield has the harder task as far as I’m concerned with The Tempest. To start with its a comedy, Shakespearean comedies are not great in the main and with the exception of some cracking speeches this is not my favourite Shakespeare play. All that said Duffield does a great job of bringing the enchanted isle to life and merging the Bard with Manga style. I’m looking forward to Macbeth which is being illustrated by Robert Deas of Instrument of War fame. From the material he’s posted on his site it looks to be good.

Albion: Home of the weird


Albion is an amazing series that fully taps into the vein of weirdness that ran through IPC.  If you’re not familiar with IPC’s output don’t be put off as everything is explained as the series unfolds.  I must admit to a slight cheat here in that I shelled out for the nice shiny prestige format.  I’m unrepentant as I now have the whole story where I can get my hands on it and it looks great on my bookshelf.  The hardcover also contains some original reprints, which are worth the price alone.  (I’m biased it reminds me of my misspent youth).  This is beautifully written and ties in seamlessly with its classic source material.  Nonetheless this is a comic that stands up on its own merits.  Like a good cover song it shows respect for the original and yet becomes a unique work of art in its own right.  To stretch the analogy this is no greedy grab and smash raid on IPC’s vaults.   As a UK citizen I might add that its great to see classic British comics getting the recognition they deserve and I think you’ll agree that the characters that stalk Albion’s pages are a refreshing change to spandex wearing American hero’s with their million dollar smiles.  Read it for yourself and like me you’ll be raiding the piggy bank and dashing off to by Albion: Origins to get your next fix of Dollman and Cursitor Doom.